Big 12 minus 2

I guess the Big 12 has decided to stay together minus two of its members–Colorado and Nebraska.  At first the lure of bright lights and big city of the Pac-10 seemed exciting, but I guess it wasn’t so pretty once all the bright lights were turned off.  The Pac-10 was trying to woo several teams from the Big 12 to join their conference and create a mega-conference.  The Pac-10 wanted TTU, UT, A&M, OSU, Oklahoma, Colorado.  For weeks the “will they or won’t they” game was played out through all the media outlets.  The first domino fell when Nebraska bolted to the Big 10.  Hey Nebraska good luck with that!  Then Colorado was the next domino to fall when they accepted an invite from the Pac 10.  For those watching at a distance it looked like a formality the remaining teams in the Big 12 South, minus Baylor, were headed to the Pac 10.  But just when you had it all figured out…in comes the hail mary.  The University of Texas decided it wanted to keep the Big 12 together and well…what UT wants, UT pretty much gets.  All the teams said, “thanks, but not thanks” to the Pac-10.  

I am not and never will be a fan of the University of Texas (please note I am an alum of Texas Tech).  By most accounts if you ask people who follow college sports, UT “runs” the conference.  I mean look at all the posturing during this whole conference realignment.  Everyone was courting UT…Big 10, Pac 10, there were even rumors of the SEC wanting them.  The life of the Big 12 was hinged on what UT was going to decide.  It’s like the movie “A League of Their Own”, where the scout only wanted Geena Davis’ character, Dottie and not the kid sister, Kit.  It was only when Kit said if she could get Dottie would he take her.  But as you know Kit was always was in her sister’s shadow until she was traded to another team.  It was only there was she able to step out of her sister’s shadow.  But that is Hollywood.  No matter how hard we try, there will teams in the state of Texas that will always be in the shadow of UT.  

Some ask will the Big 12 still be as strong as they are right now when the time comes when Colorado and Nebraska are no longer part of the conference?  The Big 12 is a strong conference.  Big 12 has been a force in football on the national level for several years especially in the Big 12 south division.  I looked up to see how many conference championships the South Divison has won since the inception of the Big 12.  The South has won 10 of the 14 championships, including the last 6 championships.  The last time a team from the North division won was back in 2003 when KSU beat OU.  Since then the championship has belonged to a team from the South.  To be more specific, it has been either OU or UT in the championship game.  Regardless, the South has dominated the conference championship.  I am not saying the North isn’t a strong division, but if you just look at these statistics, the North has the weaker teams.  Nebraska and Colorado are no slouches either.  These two schools have appeared in the championship game a combined total of 9 times–NU (5 times), CU (4 times).  However, the North has only won 4 championships–1997(NU), 1999(NU), 2001(CU), 2003(KSU).   But I think the Big 12 without CU and NU will be just fine.

Through all of this, you have to remember that like it or not, college athletics is a business.  We would all like to think it’s about the student athletes, the fans, and the university, but bottom line it is about the money.  Revenue sharing, television package deals, etc…that’s what it is all about…generating money for the schools.  I am sure this wasn’t the sole issue on deciding to stay together, but it is the big one.  But I wasn’t privy to all the meetings and conversations during this process so perhaps there were some altruistic reasons for keeping the Big 12 together.  I just have a hard time believing that when there are millions of dollars being bantered around.  Money talks..and the ones with the most, speak the loudest.

I just have to say to Nebraska and Colorado…the grass make look greener on the other side, but just because it looks greener doesn’t mean there aren’t weeds.

Eatings, Football, and Christmas

I hope everyone out there had a great Thanksgiving holiday. I spent Thanksgiving dinner with some wonderful friends again this year. I don’t know if I every mentioned it here at The Park, but I am an only child so I consider these friends my brothers and sister. They are my family. We got to watch some football (well, at least that what I thought it was in Detroit) as is tradition on Thanksgiving. I have to say the Dallas Cowboys are starting to get back some things they had early in the season. I caught a little of the UT/A&M game. Poor A&M…NOT! I didn’t dare venture out at o’dark thirty on Friday morning. I don’t like to give my sleep up for shopping escapades. I am sure everyone out there got some great bargains, I got caught up on some much needed sleep.

I didn’t do much on Friday except play a little PS3 Lego Batman. If you have a PS3 I highly recommended the game. I also like the Star Wars Lego game as well. I did watch my Red Raiders beat the Baylor Bears. They looked good in the first half, but we came back on them and won. We are now sitting at 11-1. Not bad considering the previous week, we got out assess handed too us in Norman on National TV. With that being said, Red Raider Nation was cheering on the OSU Cowboys to pull one out over OU. Why? Well, if by some chance OSU beat OU, my Red Raiders would move on to the Big 12 championship game against Missouri. Well, looks like the only way Red Raiders will see that game this year is either buy a ticket and head to KC or sit at watch like I will be next Saturday. Since OU, UT, and Tech had a three way tie, the tiebreaker (which is the 5th tiebreaker) was the highest ranking team in the BCS would head to KC. Well, I really thought UT should have gone since they did beat OU earlier in the year, but OU did score 60+ points in the last three games and thus…OU will be playing Missouri next week. Where does that leave Tech this year? Well…11-going into bowl season…where will we play? Can’t really say, but I have heard the Cotton Bowl. No matter where Tech ends up, it has been a great season. We did have a few casualties from last night’s game…Michael Crabtree out in the 2nd quarter, came back with a boot on his right ankle. Graham Harrell will have surgery on his fingers on his non-throwing hand. Here’s hoping everyone gets well by the time bowl season kicks off.

As tradition, I put up Christmas decorations and the Christmas during this weekend. This year was exciting because this would be Little Smoke’s first Christmas with us. As we kept pulling out the ornaments, he got more and more excited. Here are some pictures from our Christmas decorating day.



Of course…I couldn’t forget those NASCAR elements to our Christmas tree and room decorations. I bought a new NASCAR ornament from Hallmark commemorating the 50th Daytona 500.

Here are the NASCAR ornaments on the tree.  The tire ornament says “Gentleman Start Your Engines”.  Of course no Christmas tree of mine is complete without that ever popular Tony Stewart ornament.  I didn’t take a picture of it, but I do have a Redneck ornament on the tree…which states “You might be Redneck if you think the last four words of the National Anthem are gentleman start your engines.  Please note the sign behind the Christmas tree…”The Bar is Open”.  Actually it says, “The Tiki Bar is Open.” (part of it is hidden by the tree branch). This is a decoration from my birthday party back in June.  I like the sign so why not have it up year round.  Of course some of you may now be thinking…”you might be a Redneck if….and to which I respond…there is no “you might be” because I am one..and damn proud!

Here are the stockings hung by the chimney with care…I am not going to say who’s stocking is who’s, but if you are a regular visitor to The Park, then you know which stocking is mine.

I am still working on the 2008 Trixies. I have been through most of my postings and I am tallying the votes. I am hoping to have them posted this week, but as with anything sometimes it can get crazy.

Texas Tech

Today my #2 Red Raiders will play those Cowboys from Oklahoma State.  I know we can beat OSU, but OSU played Texas hard a few weeks ago.  If this was in Stillwater I would be more concerned than I am.  Coach Leach will have our boys ready for this week.  Some think with the big win last week we would have a hangover, but I don’t think so.  

Well, Penn State lost today to unranked Iowa.  So now maybe those who thought Penn State should be #2 can close their pie hole.  If you were that good, perhaps Iowa would not have won scored in last few seconds of the game.  Thank you Penn State.

Now, I am hoping LSU can beat Alabama.  We played Alabama in the Cotton Bowl a few years ago and lost on a last minute field goal.  I still am amazed the ball went through the goal post.  I am not a fan of LSU and never have been, but tonight I am.  If they beat Bama and we can beat OSU we could be number 1.  But we need to get through tonight.  

I have my Tech shirt on and ready to cheer on my Red Raiders.  Oh…for those that were wondering what that loud noise was last week…it’s was Lubbock erupting in celebration after Michael Crabtree scored the winning touchdown!

Wreck ‘Em Tech!!!

Update:  Alabama takes LSU to overtime.  Alabama wins 27-21.  Damn!  But it was a good game I have to say.  Alabama intercepted on LSU’s turn in overtime and well…that’s all she wrote..Alabama will be heading to the SEC championship game.